The revolting sight of pigs at the trough
Published 16/05/2009 | 00:00
So would you rather NOT have known? Would you have preferred the whole sordid business to have been swept under the thick pile carpets (taxpayer funded) in the lavish mansions and well-appointed second homes of Westminster’s dishonourable members?
Commons Speaker Michael Martin gives the impression that’s the way he’d have wanted it.
In a finger wagging tirade this week the unspeakable Speaker showed that he felt the real problem lay with the Press who broke the story in the first place.
As opposed to Toad of Toad Hall MP who claimed a couple of grand of our money to flush out his moat.
A moat! When did you last see one of those outside a GCSE history paper on medieval lords of the manor? And their long-suffering serfs?
You get the feeling that in some sections at Westminster that’s what we’re back to — the concept of serfdom where the hard-working poor labour to keep the idle rich.
One of the most telling aspects of the whole expenses scandal (outside of a Speaker who wants the police to investigate the leak not the leeches) has been that so many of those involved see themselves as socialists.
We shouldn’t forget that members of all parties have been caught gorging on the roast suckling pig of expenses.
But it’s those who claim to speak for and defend the working man whose greed is the most stomach churning.
Socialism has become little more than a designer T-shirt to be pulled on when it suits (ie when there’s an election in the offing) but swapped for more comfortable cashmere (again taxpayer funded) when the pay and expenses start rolling in.
A point here. All week we’ve heard questions about why are we paying MPs these expenses. Shouldn’t we be asking instead, why are we paying them a salary? Since some of them seem to have claimed for their every single outgoing from mortgages and moats down to Tampax and dog food, it’s hard to think what they have to spend the actual pay packet on.
The whole point of paying MPs well (and they are well-paid, whatever they argue), the whole point of providing them with expenses was to ensure that talented and able performers who might otherwise seek their fortune in say, the City, would not be dissuaded from considering a career of service (there’s a laugh) to the country.
It was to ensure that not just the filthy rich would be able to afford a career in politics.
Well, take a quick glance around Westminster, folks. Despite those fine intentions, the braying public school elite, the Oxbridge alumni, the arrogant aristo class and their nouveau Islington mates have it all sewn up.
Not only have they no qualms about raking in taxpayers’ cash which should be going to much, much more worthy projects that someone’s overfed Pekinese, they also seem to have no idea of how truly, utterly appalled the rest of us are by their behaviour.
Guzzling down the expenses banquet they lob the odd apology in our direction like Henry VIII tossing a well-gnawed chicken drumstick to the court jester.
This is it?
No wonder MPs have no idea how rising taxes, rates and other household costs have hit the ordinary punter. They’ve got the ordinary punter to pay their bills for them.
Douglas Hogg, the man with the moat, is a Tory. But in one of those moments of supreme irony he was pictured this week in what used to be seen as the traditional flat cap of the working man.
Maybe it’s time the working classes rose up again.
Nowhere nearly as revolting as the current ruling class